Jen + Tom: Toronto Wedding

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I’ve known Jennifer for a while now and I’ve always known her to be a bright, conscientious, and thoughtful person. That may sound a bit like words you’d use on a resume, but that’s how I first came to know Jen – through work.

It’s a great honour to be asked to photograph a wedding and coming from a co-worker (at my day job), it was even more so. There’s an element of trust between a photographer and a client – not only to take fabulous photographs (that is an expectation) – but also to welcome me into a part of their world that would normally be reserved for close friends and family.

When the church doors opened and Jennifer started to walk up the aisle, I actually had goosebumps. She was a vision in her lace gown, birdcage veil, and white, green and yellow bouquet. Tom, looking perfectly dapper in his vintage-style grey suit and wingtips, waited patiently at the altar.

And Jen and Tom’s attire was only the beginning. The personal details that they incorporated into their day made each step more special than the last:

A birch bark cake baked and decorated by her mother… a handmade birdhouse envelope box by her sister… a methodically selected compilation CD by the couple (it’s groovy).

Not to mention the carefully selected photo spots:  Polson Pier for that must-have shot of the Toronto skyline, Massey Hall for those crazy awesome red doors, and finally, to 99 Sudbury for their reception.

Rain and wind were a prevailing force that day but thanks to umbrellas, pink rainboots, and good spirits, the weather couldn’t get these guys down.

Having shared in Jen and Tom’s wedding day, I am now fortunate to see how Jennifer’s beauty emanates from within and goes far beyond simply bright and conscientious. She loves, and is loved, by many.

Jen and Tom, thank you for including me in your special day – you guys ROCK!

Hair & Makeup:  Julia & Julia Bridal

Venue: 99 Sudbury

Car Service: Prince Limousine 

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All photographs are copyright Michelle Haurilak Photography. Please request permission prior to using any photographs in this or any post on this blog.

Ti Amo

It started with a dance. Their first dance.

Or was it the first time they danced?

Her hand on his arm, his arm around her waist.

Ti Amo. A song which would ignite the spark of passion in a new connection.

A song which would one day become a, more official, first dance.

Ti Amo. I love you.

Italian. English.

Janet & Natale (Taly) were married on a hot summer day. Thankfully, Toronto Island can be breezy and helped mitigate the 30+ degree temps. The hospitality of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club didn’t hurt either.

The boardwalk between Lake Ontario and the RCYC is lined with the Union Jack and Canadian flags and seemed an appropriate spot for their first look – she being British and he Italian, uniting in Canada’s largest city. Toronto’s skyline was to play an important role and wherever possible, the skyline was to be our backdrop.

I love the look on Taly’s face when he sees Janet for the first time. Ti Amo.

The ceremony was held under a huge willow tree along the Island shortline. The breeze once again helping to relieve the heat of the day.

And the dance that brought them together in the beginning is the dance that unites them in front of family and friends. Ti Amo.

The rest of the wedding was a continued celebration in contrasts: British and Italian, reserved and exuberant, and by the end of the night, the marriage of two families was complete.

I love this final shot of Janet and Taly surrounded by a few of their loved ones. Ti Amo.

And Toronto, we love you too.

Venue: Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto Island

Coordination: Melissa Andre Events

Makeup: Melissa Andre

Cake: Dufflet

Flowers: Cool, Green & Shady

DJ: Maximum Music

Hank & Mags

Hank is one of the coolest kids I know. And I know some pretty cool kids. His brother Mags is pretty awesome too.

These guys were really good sports when their parents pulled them out of the house early on a Saturday morning a couple weeks ago. Like my own five-year-old, I knew they’d have rather been at home watching cartoons.

Instead they got to hang out in a few graffiti covered alleys in the Junction, push a railway cart, and run across the Wallace St. bridge with umbrellas – more on that in a future post. For now, these are a couple preview shots I sent to their mom and my friend, Jess.

Rethink Wedding Attire

In every crowd there are those who blend, and there are those who stand out. Weddings are no exception. These two caught my eye as they looked out across Lake Ontario from the balcony of the RCYC.

Can we talk about her outfit?! It’s a beautiful, refreshing look for a summer wedding. The skirt, the bag, the shoes! LOVE.

After stalking watching them for a few minutes, I figured I’d better ask for a proper portrait.

Urban Suburban

It’s a decision many of us face at some point. And as a homeowner in the city of Toronto, the exploding real estate market, and worsening commutes, it’s a pretty regular discussion topic over here at Casa Haurilak.

Urban or suburban? Ditch the city and opt for a larger home in the burbs? Or stick it out with a smaller home and enjoy all that the city has to offer? Heck, there’s even a TV show devoted to the dilemma many families face.

Heather and Neil made the bittersweet decision to leave Toronto and head west.

But before packing up, they asked me to capture their two small boys in what will soon be their former childhood home and neighbourhood.

The old stomping grounds.

The place they’ll drive by as adults to show their own children one day. (Admit it, we’ve all done it.)

So off we went on an afternoon of adventure with four-year-old Nolan leading the way.

Thursday Mornings

I met Jess over three years ago in the basement of St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto. It was a Thursday morning. We were both waiting for the elevator, and as brand new moms, we looked utterly exhausted and bewildered (at least that was how I was feeling).

Recognizing the look in each other’s eyes, one of us must have asked, “Do you know where we’re supposed to be?” This would be the first of many Thursday morning coffee chats, playdates and guilt-free commiserating sessions.

When Jess told me her little guy’s name was Hank, I liked her immediately. I mean really, how couldn’t I?! Jess has a great sense of humour, she and her little man were always the adventurous pair in our moms group and she’s generally a cup’s-half-full kind of gal.

Sadly, our Thursday morning meetups lasted only until we all started trickling back to work, but this past weekend I was thrilled when Jess and I hooked up to take some shots of her now four-piece family. Hank’s little brother is just about the cutest thing ever and can look forward to having a very. cool. big. brother.

Our shoot began shortly after sunrise near Sunnyside Beach on Lake Ontario. Below are some of my faves.

Thanks so much Jess for inviting me to capture this special time in your life. So… what are you doing next Thursday morning?

 

Check out my flickr to see more.